Letter from Dr. Howard community

The community in and around Dr. Howard have prepared a letter to the Board and have copied it to local news outlets; there is a possibility that there will be something on the broadcast news tonight. The letter details several outstanding issues with the Dr. Howard building and asks for some form of remediation before 2025.




It is impressive how the Dr. Howard community has come to stand together on an issue that they feel is important.


UPDATE: The district administration has responded, and two board members will be attending the Dr. Howard PTA meeting tonight.

Dr Howard Letter 9 18 14

Next round of numbers

It looks like DLR prepared a document that Unit 4 has started to use in talking about the Nov. 4th referendum. My FOIA request specifically asked about the low-level, granular details – what I received is still very high-level. And I still have questions about it.


NOTE: All Costs below are estimates



  • What are “Indirect Costs”?
  • What are “Development Costs” such that they are listed separately?
  • Why is furniture, fixtures and equipment exactly the same for the old school and the new?
  • What is “Site Construction” over and above “Building Construction”?
  • Where do athletic fields figure into this?


The school attorney, Mr. Lockman, has indicated that these details will be released after the referendum passes and after the design process begins; my take-away is that the exact costs are not yet known until things are fully fleshed out. A few folks that I have chatted with (a school administrator, a “Friends of Unit 4” member, a parent) have asked me why I need to know the granular details.  While I understand these costs are purely estimates, my main concern continues to center on the high-priority items needed at other schools. We have built three new schools in the past 15 years while recently renovating several others, but leaving some behind. For me personally, I want to make sure my vote is towards the most fiscally responsible decision. I ask myself, is building a brand new high school and renovating the other worth $150 million, given all the benefits and costs?

Fact finding: Prioritized, itemized list of deferred maintenance

While browsing the Unit 4 Facility Committee website, I stumbled upon a 10-year HLS report. It is interesting to note that the one presented at the BOE meeting is just the summary, with no reference (that I know of) to the more complete version:



This is a huge report and will take some time to digest, but it does give some very useful information. For a gander, I focused on Central since that seems to be the focus of some much discussion these days. There are some interesting tidbits here.


According to the report, the total amount for work needed is $12,598,371 (page 10). Looking at the number closer, the bulk majority of it is to “(r)eplace existing system with a new system whose characteristics would be determined by a life cycle cost analysis” at $7,053,000 (page 65). I will have more to say about this later, but I wanted to get the factual part out first.

Pages 3-4 explain each of the three priority levels; A means they must be corrected in 1 year, B means they must be corrected in 5 years, and C means corrected whenever possible.


Let me know when you have looked at all 126 pages.